Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”
Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship held in Houston, Texas.
In FIRST Robotics, we value Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. Gracious Professionalism, a term coined by FIRST advisor Woodie Flowers, is the backbone of FIRST, motivating innovation and respect for team members and competitors alike. With Gracious Professionalism, teams compete honorably but still treat one another with mutual kindness. Coopertition adds on to this by encouraging the notion that in the heat of competition, teams can help and learn from each other and other teams. If you want to learn more about FIRST, watch the documentary More Than Robots found on Disney+.
An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. First’s core values include Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork, and Fun. For more information, visit firstinspires.org